Skip to main content

Pakistan quake death toll rises to 356

From Sophia Saifi, for CNN
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Thu September 26, 2013
A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan. A girl walks past the remnants of a house in the earthquake-devastated district of Awaran on Thursday, September 26. The 7.7-magnitude quake struck on September 24 in a remote, sparsely populated area of southwestern Pakistan.
HIDE CAPTION
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
7.7 quake rocks Pakistan
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17
18
>
>>
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Two rockets are fired at a military helicopter taking officials to the quake zone
  • More than 600 people have been injured by the powerful quake, a local official says
  • Survivors are having to cope with high temperatures and a lack of drinking water
  • Authorities say about 21,000 houses have been destroyed

Islamabad, Pakistan (CNN) -- The death toll from the strong earthquake that struck southwestern Pakistan this week has risen to 356 as rescue workers struggle to reach victims, authorities said Thursday.

Further complicating relief efforts, two rockets were fired at -- and missed -- a military helicopter on its way to the quake zone.

The number of people injured has climbed to 619, said Jan Muhammad Buledi, a spokesman for the government of Balochistan, the province where the quake hit. Authorities estimate that 21,000 houses have been destroyed.

The 7.7-magnitude earthquake took place Tuesday in a remote, sparsely populated area of Balochistan. Rescue efforts are under way in the heavily hit districts of Awaran and Kech.

Hundreds killed in Pakistan earthquake
Did quake cause island to appear?

Images from the scene have shown buildings reduced to rubble. More people are feared to be trapped under the wreckage, authorities say, suggesting the death toll could rise.

The remoteness of the affected area and damaged communications networks are hindering the rescue operation.

Officials say some areas remain inaccessible, preventing them from getting a full picture of the scale of the damage.

Meanwhile, thousands of survivors in need of assistance after the quake are having to cope with high temperatures, a lack of drinking water and little in the way of shelter.

October is the hottest month in Balochistan and the region is in a perpetual state of drought, said Muhammad Hanif, the director of the National Weather Forecasting Center. Temperatures in Awaran and Kech have reached 37 degrees Celsius (99 degrees Fahrenheit).

Helicopter attacked

The Pakistani military has deployed more than 1,000 troops to help with rescue and relief efforts

The troops are entering a difficult region. Militants fighting for a separate state in Balochistan operate out of part of Awaran district, which has been the site of bombings.

The potential threat was underlined Thursday when two rockets were fired at an army helicopter ferrying the chairman of the National Disaster Management Authority to the earthquake zone, a military official said.

The rockets missed the helicopter as it flew over the narrow Mashki Valley on its way to Awaran, said Brig. Muhammad Abdur Raheem, an army spokesman in Balochistan.

The helicopter was carrying Maj. Gen. Muhammad Saeed Aleem, the National Disaster Management Authority chairman, as well as staff officers and two members of the local news media, Raheem said. All those who were aboard are safe, he added.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility for the failed attack.

Pakistani officials have said the quake was powerful enough to cause the appearance of a small mud island a few kilometers off the country's coast in the Arabian Sea. But some overseas scientists have questioned whether the island was the direct result of the earthquake.

Measuring the magnitude of earthquakes

CNN's Saima Mohsin in Islamabad contributed to this report.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:35 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Three Americans detained in North Korea spoke out about their conditions and pleaded for U.S. help in interviews with CNN.
Hundreds of jihadis in Syria are from abroad -- which countries have the biggest problem?
updated 3:51 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
CNN attends a funeral where mourners keep their distance.
updated 5:13 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Libyan militia members have apparently turned the abandoned U.S. Embassy in Tripoli, Libya, into a water park.
updated 4:53 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Obama's remarks that he didn't yet have a strategy for ISIS in Syria is widely criticized.
updated 7:26 AM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
A few miles south of the town of Starobeshevo in eastern Ukraine, a group of men in uniform is slumped under a tree.
updated 9:25 PM EDT, Mon September 1, 2014
Beijing says only candidates approved by a nominating committee can run for Hong Kong's chief executive, prompting criticism.
updated 4:23 AM EDT, Fri August 29, 2014
He should be toddling around a playground. Instead, his tiny hands grip an AK-47.
updated 8:23 PM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
Wilson Raj Perumal tells CNN how he rigged World Cup games: "I was giving orders to the coach."
updated 5:46 AM EDT, Tue August 26, 2014
We asked you what you would like to know about Ebola. Experts answer some of your most common questions and concerns.
updated 1:20 AM EDT, Tue September 2, 2014
In a major breach of privacy, a hacker leaked a series of pictures allegedly showing Jennifer Lawrence and other female celebrities in the nude.
Instead of weaving garments sold in the West, children should be in school
According to the International Labour Organization, there are 168 million child laborers around the world.
Browse through images from CNN teams around the world that you don't always see on news reports.
ADVERTISEMENT